Colour Me Bad

Super stellar fashion editors such as Annas Dello Russo and Piaggi have long subscribed to the manifesto of the bright and bold.  Now it’s time for the rest of us to follow suit…

 
 
 

Christopher Kane S/S 11

 

There is a pure, riotous poetry in the colour-drenched kaleidoscope of the coming season.  Spring collections feel lavishly carnivalesque and psychedelic; has fashion has raided Wonka’s candy-shop, or siphoned the Technicolor from Dorothy’s Oz?

 On SS/11 catwalks, colours sweet enough to eat stacked up like so many ice-cream flavours: pistachio and spearmint at Burberry, lemon sherbet at Chanel and glorious rhubarb-and-custard at Giles.  Migraine-inducing, retina-taxing hues zipped down runways like frenetic fireflies – Proenza Schouler showcased souped-up cerise and fizzy pumpkin.  Cerulean at Gucci and cobalt courtesy of Jason Wu were the kind of intense pigments more commonly concocted in phials of chemical laboratories, or plundered from souks and spice markets of tropical bazaars.  Further forays into the Far East saw exotic Geishas at Galliano and Kenzo compete, butterfly-like, with rainbow-hued Harajuku dolls at Meadham Kirchhoff and Junya Watanabe.

Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 11

So tread bold, but banish clownish overtones by investing in translucent peek-a-boo fabrics looted from romantic heroines of yore.  Juxtapose with mean, lean silhouettes sharper than Lagerfeld’s suits.  Splice with a horde of tribal, tattoo and trompe l’oeil prints, sneak in a dash of sport-luxe, and you’ve got yourself one seriously stupendous wardrobe for spring, summer, and that bright beyond…

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Dreaming in Dance

Ballet.  With a swish of tulle and a tiptoed flourish en pointe, the theatrical fantasy world of the dramatic, dream-like dance is set to sashay back into the fringes of fashion.  Designers right, left and centre are utilising shimmering embellishment, flounces and feathers; fixing their fashion focus upon the starry otherworld arenas of costume and ceremony. 

Paris catwalks of SS/11 twinkled with fronds and fairytale fabrics; the very life-stuff of the magical creations adorning characters of traditional ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.  Ostrich feathers at Chanel.  Towers of tulle at Alexander McQueen.  In London, Erdem invoked the spirit of the ballet russes in a sweetly romantic and somehow sartorially very European collection.  Milan, too, was not all sophisticated Italian hauteur; some girlishness emerged in the form of debutante coyness and light, pretty palettes.  The rash of minimalism and monochrome across many fashion houses’ spring ouevres has been combated and offset by some enchanting forays into romance and decadence.

Chanel S/S 11

Alexander McQueen S/S 11

Tutus at Felder Felder, S/S 11

Sugar-plum sweetness at Giles, S/S 11

Frou-frou at Mark Fast, S/S 11

Ethereal and doll-like at Dolce & Gabbana, S/S 11

Dramatic gilt plumage at Gucci, S/S 11

  The approaching party season is the perfect excuse to team lavishly decorated ballerina pumps with a sleek cigarette pant or fabulous frock for all-out impact. 

Tory Burch, £255

 

Carvela. £65

Timely ads for Repetto, the historic French ballet shoe company, are currently spashed, in glossy finery, across a raft of fashion magazines.

Diane von Furstenburg has even been coaxed from her trademark territory of the womanly wrap dress to deliver enchanting party dresses in new, lissome shapes.  Anna Sui has woven fairy gowns of organza and tulle.

Diane von Furstenburg 'Talea' dress, £730

Diane von Furstenburg 'Yadira' dress, £545

Anna Sui silk tulle and sequin dress, £870

 Ladies, the sumptuous stage is set.  Throughout the glittering snows of winter and the beauty of swan-like spring, indulge in an elegant celebration of that dream-world-without-limit; the dazzling brilliance and bravura of the ballet…